Cytokine induction by Gram-positive bacteria

Christian Draing, Stefanie Sigel, Susanne Deininger, Stephanie Traub, Rebekka Munke, Christoph Mayer, Lars Hareng, Thomas Hartung, Sonja von Aulock, Corinna Hermann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Despite similar clinical relevance of Gram-positive and Gram-negative infections, immune activation by Gram-positive bacteria is by far less well understood than immune activation by Gram-negative bacteria. Our group has made available highly purified lipoteichoic acids (LTA) as a key Gram-positive immunostimulatory component. We have characterized the reasons for lower potency of LTA compared to Gram-negative lipopolysaccharide (LPS), identifying lack of IL-12/IFNγ induction as a general characteristic of TLR2 agonists, and need for presentation of LTA on surfaces for enhanced immunostimulatory potency, as major aspects. Aspects of chemokine induction, where LTA is more potent than LPS, have been addressed. Furthermore, novel complement and plant defence activation, as well as CD36 as a new LTA receptor, were identified. The bacterial costimuli and modulators of LTA inducible responses are being investigated: LTA isolated from so far 16 bacterial species, although different in structure, behave remarkably similar while whole live and killed bacteria differ with regard to the pattern of induced responses. The purification and characterization of the respective components of the bacterial cell wall has begun.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-296
Number of pages12
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - May 14 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Cytokines
  • Gram-positive bacteria
  • Inate immunity
  • Lipoteichoic acid
  • Monocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Hematology


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